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View Poll Results: What should America's Role be policing the World?
Smite (even if it means go it alone) every evil not matter how large or small. 5 7.58%
Smite (even if it means go it alone) only Supersize Evil (e.g., Hitler) 8 12.12%
Only if we can use NATO allies to vanquish every evil not matter how large or small. 1 1.52%
Only if we can use NATO allies to vanquish only Supersize Evil (e.g., Hitler) 10 15.15%
Foster and promote the UN to vanquish every evil not matter how large or small. 4 6.06%
Primarily Use Diplomacy 11 16.67%
Do nothing unless it threatens our borders... a real threat 23 34.85%
Other - Described in Comments 4 6.06%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-16-2008, 03:46 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Ha:

I did not understand your question. You are correct, the possibility of massive military response can deter state actors, but it cannot deter non-state actors, as we saw with 9/11. But invading other countries also will not deter non-state actors, so I'm not sure where we stand.
I opposed the Iraq war, not that anyone cares what I oppose or support. However, I think we are stuck with being an empire, and as someone mentioned above (Desertrat?) it is usually better to do your fighting elswhere rather than at home. (Do you think WW2 was a less horrible experience for American civilians or Polish civilians? Would you rather have had your wife and children spend the civil war in Boston or Atlanta?)

Here is a short summary of how I see it, copied, clarified and expanded from my post near the beginning fo this thread.

I think defending against threats to our national borders is too narrowly defined. At the same time, I think going around "doing good" is hopeless. Too expensive, and counterproductive.

I think we should define the goal as defending our narrowly defined "National Interests." This would likely involve keeping sea lanes open, trying to keep antagonists to our interests from grabbing natural resources (Russia already has enough of that, as does Iran.) We would likely want spec-ops and clandestines inserted in many areas. Low intensty, low committment, but highly focused.

And clearly it might at times involve selective foreign engagements on land. For example, would we want to stand by if Iran invaded Saudi Arabia? How about if Iran sent battle divisions into Iraq? Not out of "democracy building", but out of our obvious need for market access to the region's oil.

Ha
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:49 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I opposed the Iraq war, not that anyone cares what I oppose or support. However, I think we are stuck with being an empire, and as someone mentioned above (Desertrat?) it is usually better to do your fighting elswhere rather than at home. (Do you think WW2 was a less horrible experience for American civilians or Polish civilians? Would you rather have had your wife and children spend the civil war in Boston or Atlanta?)

Here is a short summary of how I see it, copied, clarified and expanded from my post near the beginning fo this thread.

I think defending against threats to our national borders is too narrowly defined. At the same time, I think going around "doing good" is hopeless. Too expensive, and counterproductive.

I think we should define the goal as defending our narrowly defined "National Interests." This would likely involve keeping sea lanes open, trying to keep antagonists to our interests from grabbing natural resources (Russia already has enough of that, as does Iran.) We would likely want spec-ops and clandestines inserted in many areas. Low intensty, low committment, but highly focused.

And clearly it might at times involve selective foreign engagements on land. For example, would we want to stand by if Iran invaded Saudi Arabia? How about if Iran sent battle divisions into Iraq? Not out of "democracy building", but out of our obvious need for market access to the region's oil.

Ha
Good summarization.

I agree... What Ha said.
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:59 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I opposed the Iraq war, not that anyone cares what I oppose or support. However, I think we are stuck with being an empire, and as someone mentioned above (Desertrat?) it is usually better to do your fighting elswhere rather than at home. (Do you think WW2 was a less horrible experience for American civilians or Polish civilians? Would you rather have had your wife and children spend the civil war in Boston or Atlanta?)

Here is a short summary of how I see it, copied, clarified and expanded from my post near the beginning fo this thread.

I think defending against threats to our national borders is too narrowly defined. At the same time, I think going around "doing good" is hopeless. Too expensive, and counterproductive.

I think we should define the goal as defending our narrowly defined "National Interests." This would likely involve keeping sea lanes open, trying to keep antagonists to our interests from grabbing natural resources (Russia already has enough of that, as does Iran.) We would likely want spec-ops and clandestines inserted in many areas. Low intensty, low committment, but highly focused.

And clearly it might at times involve selective foreign engagements on land. For example, would we want to stand by if Iran invaded Saudi Arabia? How about if Iran sent battle divisions into Iraq? Not out of "democracy building", but out of our obvious need for market access to the region's oil.

Ha
Agree wholeheartedly with your first point.

Almost completely agree with the second point, although we need some way to keep these "black ops" from getting out of control. There will be a natural tendency on the part of whoever is in the government to expand them beyond what is absolutely necessary.

The last paragraph makes me queasy thinking about it, but I suppose under certain circumstances, we may be forced to take such actions. How about all the people on the "energy" thread hurry up and solve our oil problem so we won't have to care about the answers to these questions?
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:13 PM   #44
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I can't believe that the US, with 5% of the world's population and 20% of the GDP, could or should be the world policeman. We can't even win the "drug war" at home.

We should use violence only when we see a threat to lives and personal liberty within our borders. Sometimes, that means we chose to fight overseas (e.g. I think going after AQ in Afghanistan made sense), but we need to be very careful (e.g. I think that invading Iraq did more harm than good).

Otherwise, we try to set an example, use diplomacy, and believe our own rhetoric about self-determination.

We also need to separate economic wants from personal liberty. We shouldn't be using the US military to assure preferred access to, or a constant supply of, cheap oil. We knew that was a bad idea 30 years ago, but we weren't willing to consume a little less in order to stay out of those entanglements.

Use military power to protect freedom, not to arrange the world order so that we can consume at others expense.
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